UEIs Replace DUNS Numbers

As of April 4, 2022 the federal government eliminated the use of the DUNS Number and is now utilizing the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) to serve as its replacement. By rolling out the UEI, the government can streamline the business identification process without relying on a third party.


What is Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)?

The UEI is a 12-character alphanumeric ID that will be assigned to public/private companies, individuals, non-profit entities, governments and other organizations planning to apply for government contracts and grants.

How to Obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)?

To register your busines and to obtain a UEI, see www.SAMS.gov (System for Award Management).

For more information you can read our new blog Doing Business with the Government and UEIs.


How much Does it Cost to Get a Unique Entity Identifier?

The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is free when registering online at www.SAMS.gov.


How Long Does it Take to Get a UEI Number?

After registering for your UEI number on www.SAMS.gov, it may take anywhere from 10 to 12 days before becoming available to the business owner. Your assigned UEI will be visible on www.SAMS.gov once complete.


For a point of reference, Harvard Business Services, Inc. preserved the following information about DUNS Numbers.

What Was the DUNS Number?

A DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System) was a unique nine-digit identification number that verified the existence of a business, globally. It was assigned by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) for each physical location of a business and was used by industries and organizations around the world as a global standard for business identification and tracking.

Your DUNS number was associated with a "Paydex" score, from 0 to 100. 75 and above is considered an excellent score. This score was compared to a business credit score in that it is a predictor of prompt bill payment. 

Once you have an account, you can check your score online. 

Why Did We Need a DUNS Number?

You needed a DUNS number for your business if you planned to:

  • Provide contract work for any government organizations
  • Get approved for a business line of credit
  • Work with specific industry and trade associations
  • Separate your personal assets from your business

Oftentimes if you marketed that you are listed with D&B and had a great score, it could be the determining factor on whether or not you attracted a client's business.

When Would I Have Needed to Get My DUNS Number?

Typically, business owners register for a number with Dun & Bradstreet following the legal formation of their company. This is done so the number would be connected to their company directly and not to their personal credit. Attaching it to your personal credit could possibly lower your score.

D&B required the following information about your company:

  • Business name
  • Physical mailing address
  • Company formation date
  • Nature of the business
  • Name(s) of principal(s)
  • Industry classifications (i.e., SIC, NAICS)
  • Payment and financial experiences
How Long Did It Take to Obtain a DUNS Number?

Typically, your DUNS number arrived via mail 45 days after you registered. However, you also could have purchased an expedited process and your number would have arrived within five business days.

How Much Did a DUNS Number Cost?

The DUNS number was free. However, if you wished to receive your number faster than the standard 45 days, you could have purchased an expedited process from D&B for $229.

How Did I Obtain a DUNS Number?

There are few different ways to get a DUNS number. You can visit D&B's DUNSFile page or call 1-866-374-0441.


Since 1981, Harvard Business Services, Inc. has helped form 410,106 Delaware corporations and LLCs for people all over the world.

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